Family matters for Lockyer Valley Demons
AUSSIE RULES: When his daughter Natasha started playing Aussie Rules with the Lockyer Valley Demons this season, Leong Lay did not think he would be doing anything other than supporting her from the sidelines.
"I'm from Victoria so I've always followed AFL, then I moved up here, none of the kids actually played AFL, they played rugby and touch,” Leong said.
"So I said 'Nat, awesome now I come watch you play'.”
But he was quickly recruited to pull on the boots himself for the men's side and both family members are now with the club to play the sport for the very first time.
The men and women's sides train together twice a week in a modified training program.
While Natasha studies at UQ Gatton and is close by, her father travels from Brisbane.
"It's a small club but they're quite tight,” Leong said.
"They welcomed me straight away, they're really welcoming and that's why it's no hassle to drive up here and play with them.”
Although both are working hard to improve their kicking, handballing and marking, neither shy away from the physicality of the game thanks to their backgrounds in martial arts.
"I was bored of touch... I like the physical side of it,” Natasha said.
"We haven't won a game yet but we're improving.
"Our girls team has combined with the Warwick team... we all get along and we're slowly bonding a bit more.”
Mr Lay said he had yet to come across another father and daughter duo who played together but hoped it would become more common.
"Because AFL is such a new thing for women, I think a lot of fathers are rejoicing they can play with their daughters,” Leong said.
"You'll probably come across more as the generations come by but I don't think you'll find many at this stage.
"There's always fathers and sons playing rugby and who belong to the same club over the generations. I guess it'll happen with fathers and daughters.”